Outraged that his daughter learned evolution in school, a congressional candidate hopes to take on Washington, D.C. to prevent science from encroaching on education. Last week, Aaron Miller won the Republican endorsement for Minnesota’s first congressional district in order to challenge four-term incumbent Rep. Tim Walz (D).
Miller likes to repeat a story on the campaign trail about his daughter being driven to tears because her teacher taught evolution that day. According to the Mankato Free Press, Miller shared a story about his daughter telling the teacher she does not believe in evolution. The teacher replied that he or she didn’t believe it either, but was forced to teach it because of the government. “There’s a war on our values by the government,” Miller said. “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.”
These views have earned Miller an endorsement from former state Rep. Allen Quist (R). Mother Jones points out that Quist has argued that it is only reasonable that people and dinosaurs coexisted and that the Book of Job offers science lessons.
This election year features a GOP field overrun with anti-science candidates who campaign against established scientific concepts. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), a member of House Science running for Senate, believes evolution is a lie “straight from the pit of hell.” All four GOP candidates competing for the lieutenant governorship in Texas are pushing to teach creationism in public schools. Additionally, newly elected Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) is a climate denier, joining the House where over 56 percent of congressional Republicans deny climate science. The Colorado Senate candidate field rejected the overwhelming science supporting climate change in less than 6 seconds. In recent years, belief in evolution in the Republican party has plummeted from 54 percent of voters to 43 percent.
Not only do creationists have seats in the House of Representatives, but anti-science lawmakers even head the House Science committee. Even speculated presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate’s Science Committee, once argued that the Bible can inform science of Earth’s age.
Miller has not verified the story with any press, which may help him get a few details straight. Minnesota, not the federal government, sets scientific standards for education, and it was a lead partner in developing the Next Generation Science Standards, a multi-state effort to set standards for teaching science K-12, including topics like evolution and climate change, K-12. Miller did not return request for comment.